Archive for May, 2009

Money ignorance

“The financial literacy of high school students has fallen to its lowest level ever.”

That’s a quote from a report released last week by the Jump$tart Coalition’s 2008 survey (available here).
Worse, a common solution - teaching personal finance in high school - doesn’t seem to work, at least when it’s taught in early high school.

“We have […]

Spending Smart on the Oprah network

If you have Sirius-XM satellite radio, tune into Oprah Radio (channel 156) about noon tomorrow, Friday, when I’ll be a guest on the Jean Chatzky show.
We’ll be talking about my new book, “The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart.”

Gasoline quiz: Extra credit

Sunday’s Spending Smart newspaper column will include a quiz about ways to save money on gasoline. It will probably include tips you never heard before or dispel common myths you may have heard (those are my favorite columns to write).

The shame of a standard newspaper column is that it is, well, standard. Often I have […]

Don’t fall for job scams

New graduates and those laid off from jobs should be wary about work-at-home jobs that seem too good to be true, warns Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett today.

Con artists typically use Internet postings or Web sites such as to publish advertisements that offer high pay for part-time employment, including work as personal assistants, mystery […]

Baby, that’s a lot of money

Average American parents spent $2,577 on baby-related items when their child was born, according to survey results released by, a classified ads Web site. Yet, only 7 percent of parents said they resold baby stuff once their child has outgrown them. Of course, that means you could be missing out on potential cash.

If you […]

Mother’s Day advice (for moms)

Women tend to be the spenders in the family. Not in a bad way. But they are often the ones to buy food, clothing, household supplies and household furnishings. That’s why they are particularly suited to teaching their children about money.
But what’s the best way to teach children about money? Explaining how is an excerpt […]

Canon fodder on warranties

We hear so many bad stories about customer service that I thought I’d pass along a good one.

At the Spending Smart household, our Canon multifunction printer, the Pixma MX850, died. The small screen showed an error code that we couldn’t get past. We only bought it in September, so it was still under its one-year […]